When all your players can not make a gig, is it cool to make a smaller group from your big band? Can you still use the same name of the group? If not, what do you call it? I always like the name "little big band" as there is humour and conflict in the name and I gravitate towards that. But, back to the issue at hand; is this ethically the right thing to do? I mean, where does it stop. Do you keep making permutations of the group to fit the gig, e.g., quartets, trios, duets etc. It then becomes a music agency rather than a big band or music group. In my opinion, I think it is okay to take a slightly reduced group into a smaller venue when it is appropriate or to offer/form such a group when there are no other options: players are limited or the space is limited. A little big band to me has several horn players, often multiple reed players, and representatives for each section: saxophones, trumpets and trombones. Additionally, it has a full rhythm section and may or may not have both the guitar and piano. Anyway, this is the predicament I have found myself in and I will embrace. Finding and writing new charts for this reduced instrumentation. Wish me luck.
One time a really good trombonist told me that if you work for free you will, of course, be a busy trombonist. We laughed and for a time, I really took that to heart. I was not going to be that lackey and never did a gig that did not pay decently. Unfortunately, I lost some friends (lets call them acquaintances) along the way. If the first question you ask when someone says they have a gig for you is "How much does it pay?" you start to get a reputation as a hard-ass, miser. The truth of the matter is that music often does not pay well and sometimes does not pay. Oh, there are exceptions and you can work hard to be one of the fortunate ones that gets paid well each time you leave the house, but you are part of a small and dwindling group. If on the other hand, you want to enjoy yourself, play interesting gigs and be well thought of in the musical community, you take as many gigs as you can handle. If you are good, paying gigs come your way. If you are average, you get the gigs that match your skill level or you need to hustle your own. I have observed that less-skilled players can get choice (paying) gigs just because they are nice people that others want to work with. So, it is a combination of things. But the bottom line is do not put money first or it will have the opposite result...people will stop calling. Take every gig, hustle your own, be the nicest guy or girl out there, and keep working on your skills. That is the way to do it.
Ok, sure this is a blatant advertisement for the website, "hits" are down, but it is also true. Just had a talk with Vince Gassi and he emphasized that you have to fail numerous times when attempting to publish your music before you succeed. It is the same with publishing research and applying for jobs. You keep putting yourself out there and getting rejected until you are finally rewarded. At that point, those other dark and frustrating times fade away and become a distant memory. So if you have a passion, keep at it and learn from your mistakes. What can you do differently the next time? Do it and get back out there.
Jazz, Blues, R&B and Rock charts for sale, and for free, arranged by level of difficulty #bigband #jazzcombo
You can spend days tweaking your website and second guessing how you arrange your "merchandise." Do you arrange your music by style or do you arrange it by difficulty level or do you arrange it by ensemble type? I think I will constantly be rearranging my site until I am satisfied with the traffic flow and the amount of business I receive, and since I am a perfectionist, you knows when that will be. :) That being said, please check out my most recent layout of my big band and jazz combo charts. Now time to get back to my family!
Just purchased Noteperformer for Sibelius about a week ago and am slowly going through the process of, what you might call, rerecording my Sibelius files with this new set of sounds. It is a night-and-day difference. You can actually enjoy listening to the rock and Latin charts. The swing feel is still very stilted but the timbre is so much better that I will take it. I hear that Finale's sounds are superior. Funny, I used to use that notation software and then switched. It is like I invested in the Beta of video playback. However, my main reason for using Sibelius is music notation and it does that fabulously.
a child. Oh, you can spend time with it. Attend to the details and give it a lot of love, but in the end you send it into the world (online) and it is out of your hands. You then sit back and hope that you "did good." That is the hardest part. You may not understand why your child or your website is not doing well but you put in the work. Sure, with a website, you can tweak it 'till the cows come home but its essence is that entity you birthed. Like a child, the important aspects of your website are at its very core and if you really want to do something different, maybe you should have another website, but that is a lot of commitment. I have three kids and one website - I have my hands full. I write this post with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek.
I just wanted to say that I am very excited about the new layout for my arrangements. It is much less cluttered and people may actually stick around for a while and check out the "merch." I never can figure out why big band leaders and teachers do not take the free stuff. Well, maybe we are all giving it away so it is hard to tell the wheat for the chaff. I'm all wheat!
Had a good laugh today when I opened up an email and there was an "urgent" call for a trombonist for a rehearsal and gig - $20. No, this was not a joke. The slap to all trombonists faces was lessened slightly by the word "honorarium" tacked on behind it, but come on! In a world where people will pay a month's salary to hear Drake, Beyonce or Beiber, can we not allow this investment in music to trickle down to the local level? If our music is not on iTunes, on Spotify or represented by Live Nation, we will not spend a dime on it. Ridiculous. What system do you think holds up these so called music stars? Do we think they descend from the heavens? If we do not nurture the local music scene that gives birth to this musical talent, there will be no idols to throw money at. And, by the way, who do you think the session musicians are behind these stars? Yes, you guessed it. Many are local players playing for slightly larger honorariums.
Dr. Michael Kearns
Musician, educator, husband, father, web designer ... my life is like a mosaic with each piece vying for my attention.